In a recent segment on his Fox News show, host Tucker Carlson shared the names and photos of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s board of directors while ranting against hospitals that provide gender-affirming care.
Gender-affirming care for both adolescents and adults has been endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and many other professional groups as necessary and frequently life-saving for transgender individuals. Yet Carlson falsely framed the issue as medical experimentation on children, accusing hospitals of profiting off “the mental anguish of children” in thrall to a supposed “fad.”
Carlson directed his outrage primarily at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Earlier this week, anti-LGBTQ commentator Matt Walsh targeted VUMC in a Twitter thread falsely claiming that the staff at the medical center’s Transgender Health Clinic “castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults, while apparently taking steps to hide this activity from the public view.” VUMC has since shut down the website for its Transgender Health Clinic and released a statement defending the work they do for trans patients and accusing Walsh of misrepresenting the facts.
On his show, Carlson took things a step further, showing the names and photos of VUMC’s board of directors onscreen while reading their names one-by-one, urging them to “do something to stop these crimes.”
The stunt has led social media users to wonder whether Calson’s rant could lead to violence against the hospital’s staff.
“Within the past few hours after Matt Walsh’s attack on Vanderbilt and Tucker Carlson’s coverage, users of 4chan and the Donald are calling for the outright murder of doctors. This is exactly what they want,” tweeted Harvard Law Cyberlaw clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo.
Carlson went on to accuse Boston Children’s Hospital, which was forced to evacuate earlier this month due to a bomb threat following an online misinformation campaign about its Gender Multispecialty Service program, of “playing the victim.”
Earlier this month, Media Matters reported that Carlson had responded to the threats and harassment targeting BCH and other children’s hospitals by amplifying anti-trans misinformation. This week, in another anti-LGBTQ segment falsely accusing teachers and doctors of “sexualizing children,” Carlson went so far as to suggest that “neighborhood dads” should “mete out instant justice to anyone who even thought about sexualizing their kids.”
“No matter what the law says, your duty, your moral duty, is to defend your children,” he said. “This is an attack on your children and you should fight back.”